« AnteriorContinuar »
fident it is just and true, the and Defender is also great ; for cause of Christ and of God, it is not ours only. Why then which has no reason to blush do you constantly distress yourand tremble, as I, an individual self? If the cause is false, let sinner have. On this account, I us withdraw from it; if it is contemplate with security, and true, why should we make God almost with indifference, these a liar by disbelieving his promfierce and menacing Papists; ises ? - What more can the dev. for if we fall, Christ, the ruler of il do, than take away our life? the world, must fall with us; For myself, whether it be the and though it were so, I had effect of insensibility, or of the rather fall with Christ, than Spirit of God, I know not, but I stand with Cæsar. Nor are you feel little uneasiness as to the alone in this conflict, I am pres- event; nay, I have more hope ent with you in groans and than I could have believed. If prayers; and would to God I we are not worthy to carry it could be with you in person, forward, others will be raised for it is my cause also, and more up. In fine, if the danger inmine than yours; a cause un
crease, I will fly to your supdertaken neither rashly, nor port, and look these formidable through motives of avarice or emissaries of Satan full in the vain glory, as I take God to wit- teeth."* Dess, and as the event has al- Against the decree of this diready testified, and will testify et, which prohibited all changes more fully hereafter. I beseech or innovations in the faith or you, therefore, in the name of worship of the church, and exChrist, not to forget the prom- cluded from the imperial chamises and consolations contained ber all, who should disobey it, in the words, Cast your care on
Luther in 1531 published a the Lord, for he careth for you ; small treatise, in which he prowait on the Lord ; act a manly tested that his object was to cenpart; and let your heart be sure not the Emperor and good strengthened. Be of good cour. princes, but the bad, whether age, I have overcome the world, princes or bishops, and especialsays Jesus. Why then should ly Pope Clement, and Cardinal we fear a conquered world, as if Campegius his legate ; that the it were the conqueror? To hear pretended refutation of the Prosuch a truth, it were little to go testant confession was unworthy on our knees to Rome, or even of any man of common underto Jerusalem. But we are ac- standing or probity ; that the customed to hear it, and this di- church by refusing the cup to minishes its impression.” Again, the laity, opposed the authority in another letter, “ The cares, of Scripture, and instead of bewhich consume you, highly dis- ing the spouse of Christ, was please me ; they arise not from the whore of Satan ; that solitaany important cause, but from my masses were dangerous and the greatness of your unbelief. unscriptural ; and that justificaWas the danger less in the days tion, by faith only, is a doctrine of Huss, and other good men ? Great as the cause is, its Author • Seckend. $ 69, p. 181, 182.
according to godliness. “This tend the knowledge aud influarticle," says he, “shall never ence of the truth ; in exhorting be overthrown, neither by em- princes, and universities, and perors, nor by the Turks, nor provinces not to retard the prothe Tartars, nor the Persians; gress of the reformation, but to nor by the Pope and all his car- confirm it; in writing commendinals, bishops, priests, monks, taries on the Scripture ; and in and nuns ; nor by kings, princes, publishing, from time to time, or governors; nor by the whole treatises of admonition, reproof, world, though joined by all the and consolation, according to the devils in hell ; and all, who con- particular circumstances in which trovert it, shall meet the reward the church, or individuals, were of iniquity. Thus I, Doctor placed. Nor did his enemies Luther, by the teaching of the escape the lash of his pen. His Holy Spirit, believe : and this severity seemed to increase with is the true gospel." Then he his years ; more than once he quotes the creed, I believe in was commanded by his steady Jesus Christ crucified, dead, and friend the Elector of Saxony, to buried; and adds, “ If none but moderate his language, and reChrist died for sin, if no other strain his vehemence; but the taketh away sin, all men with inveteracy of the errors, which all their works are, by conge- he combated, continually suppliquence, excluded from any ed new fuel for his indignation share in meriting the remission and violence. of sins, and justification before In consequence of the decree God; and as it is impossible to of the diet of Spires, and the embrace Christ but by faith, how proceedings of the Emperor and can works avail ? If then faith, the court of Rome subsequent before works follow it, alone em- to it, the Protestants met at braces Christ, it must be true Smalkalde in Dec. 1530, conthat his redemption is applied to cluded a league of mutual de sinners, i.e. they are justified fence against all, who should opby faith only. After faith, how- pose them, and renewed it the ever, good works follow as its following year in an assembly at fruit. This is the doctrine I the same place. In 1535, they teach, and this the Holy Spirit, again met, insisted on their and the true church of Christ original demand of a council to have always taught. To this, be held in Germany, and agreed by the grace of God, I will con- to unite in supporting the league stantly adhere. Amen."* of Smalkalde for ten years.
After this period, Luther was When this period expired, they chiefly employed in raising that found considerable difficulty superstructure of reformation, arising froin the jealousies of the foundation of which he had particular princes, to prolong laid amid such opposition and their confederacy, and saw the dangers. His life was spent in tempest, which had been so long labouring to strengthen the gathering, and which was now minds of the faithful, and to ex- greatly thickened by the pro
ceedings of the council of Trent, * Seckend. lib. iii, $ 3, p. 7.
ready to burst on them with av.
ful fury. But Luther, who had chilling hand of death, he said, watched its progress with a stea- this cold sweat is the forerundy eye, was removed by death ner of dissolution, I will give up from feeling or beholding its my spirit.” He then prayed, saydestructive rage. In the be- ing, “o heavenly Father, everginning of 1546, he was sent for lasting and merciful God, thou hast to his native country, to recon- revealed to me thine own Son, cile the differences which had for our Lord Jesus Christ, him I have some time interrupted the har- preached, him I have confessed, mony of Mansfeld. He preach- him I love, and adore as my deared his last sermon at Wittem- est Saviour and deliverer, though berg on the 17th of January, and the ungodly persecute, revile, and on the 23d, set out for Eisleben, blaspheme him, receive my spirit,whence he never returned. O my heavenly Father, though I Though, during the journey, he must leave this body, and be taken complained of faintness and out of this life, yet I know assuredweakness, he was able to attend ly, that I shall live with thee forall the sittings of the court, be- ever, and none is able to pluck me fore which the cause for which out of thy hands. He that is our he had come was pled, till the God is the God of salvation, and 17th of February. That even- unto God the Lord belong the ing, a little before supper, he issues from death.” He then felt an unusual sickness arising repeated thrice, with an elevatfrom the disease under which he ed tone, “ Lord, into thy hands I had laboured for some time, an commend my spirit ; Thou hast oppression of the humours in the redeemed me, O God of truth :" opening of the stomach. That after which he continued breathday, he had indeed said to Justas ing, till about three in the mornJonas, and some other friends, ing, when he entered on that "I was born and baptized at glory, in the faith and hope of Eisleben, what if I should re- which, he lived, and laboured, main and die here ?" But his and died. He was attended in sickness went off, and he par- his last moments by the Count wok of his supper with his usual and Countess of Mansfeld, Meappetite. But immediately af- lancthon, Justas Jonas, and sevter, the pain returned, and con- eral other friends, who ministertinued with little abatement for ed to his consolation, and joined some hours. About one in the with him in prayer, that God morning of the 18th, he lay would preserve the doctrine of down on his bed for the last his Son's gospel among them. time ; and when being excruci- His body was carried to Witated with pain, he cried out, “ (temberg, and honourably interGod! what oppression do I red without pomp or parade.* feel.” Jonas said, “Reverend fa- On his tomb the following inther, call on Jesus Christ our scription was put by the univerLord and Great High Priest, sity : that only Mediator whom thou hast preached.” But feeling the * Seckend. lib.iii. $ 133. p. 634, &c.
Vol. II. No.4.
MARTINI LUTHENI S. THEOLO- regardless of men or opinions, • GIS D. CORPUS H. L. S. E. QUI
indiscriminate in his censures of ẢNNO CHRISTI MDXLVI. XII. those who differed from him, MARTII
zealous in defending what he beIX PATRIA S. M. 0. C. lieved to be the cause of truth ; V.AN. LXIII. M. H.
he was qualified to elude the soD. X.
phistry, to despise the calumnies,
and to brave the opposition of In this place is interred the bis popish adversaries. His body of MARTIN LUTAER, Doc- moral conduct was irreproacha,tor of Divinity, who died at ble; not only correct, but apEisleben, the place of his nativi- proaching to austerity, as became ty, on the 18th of February, in the character of a Reformer ; the year 1546, when he had lived his invariable sanctity adorned 63 years, 3 months, and 10 days. the doctrine which he delivered,
Beza's Epigram on this illus- and his disinterestedness illustratrious reformer, may be thus ted the sincerity of his profestranslated.
sions. Even by the impetuosity Rome aw'd the workl: the Pope o'er deed be justified, but which ap
of his temper, which cannot inRome prevail'd, With fraud he conquer'd, she with
pears to us much more censuraarts of war ;
ble than it was thought by bis Thưir force united, Luther's pen contemporaries, on account of
assail'd, And humbled both, than both more
the superior delicacy and exterpowerful far.
nal politeness of the age in which Go, fabling Greece, and bid Alcides we live, he was fitted for accomknow,
plishing the great work which he His club, as Luthier's pen, gave no undertook. The silent censure such blow.
of men whose lives reproved the Luther was above the middle corruptions of the church, as well aize, his body robust, and his
as the complaints of the injured, eye so piercing, that few could had long been disregarded; sunk bear it , when he looked intently the world, though groaning to be
in ignorance and superstition, on them. His voice, though weak, was melodious; his appe
delivered, was held in chains by tite moderate ; his diet plain. the bigotry of priestcraft
, supThough far from being rich, be ported by the secular power. was extremely liberal in propor
To effect a revolution, therefore, tion to his substance. His learn- energy, nay violence was requiing was chiefly theological ; his site ; and had Luther been more writings are more forcible than amiable, and less vigorous, or elegant; his style often harsh
more gentle and accommodating, and satirical. His mind was cast
like Melancthon, he must have in a mould which gave it a form failed in the glorious enterprise suited to the object to which
which he so successfully achiev. it was to be directed. Acute, ar
ed, and have left the world more dent, intrepid, persevering ;
involved than ever in the gloom vehement often to excess, conf. of corrupt opinions, and soperstident, and sometimes arrogant ;
For the Panoplist. and not only blessed him, but
made himself a blessing." MEMOIRS OF PRESIDENT DAVIES.
The prayers and vows of this
excellent woman were succeedWere the homage, so gener. ed by active exertions. There ally paid to brilliant intellectual being no school at hand, she endowments, transferred to vir took upon herself the task of jue and religion, it would he teaching her son to read : and well.
Yet when genius and her efforts were early rewarded learning are sublimated by piety, in the uncommon proficiency of and devoted with ardour to the her pupil. He continued with best interests of mankind, they his parents till about the age of furnish a character
character equally ten. They had not the happivenerable and lovely. Such a
ness, during this period, of obcharacter was President Davies. serving any special impressions To dwell on the talents, the vir- of religion made on his mind; tues and the exertions of so em- but he behaved himself as is inent a man, is an employment common for a sprightly, toward. at once pleasant and edifying in ly child, under the influence of a high degree. The present me- pious example and instruction. moirs lay claim to little of orig- After this, he was sent to an inality. Their principal object English school, at some distance is to methodize and incorporate from home, where he continued the distinct and independent ac- two years, and made great progcounts which are already before l'ess in his studies. But failing the public. Whatever additional of the pious instructions to which information they contain, is ci- he had been accustomed, he be: ther suggested by his works, or
careless of the drawn from other sources of un- things of religion, than before. questionable authority.
Yet even at this period, he He was born November 3, habituated himself to secret 1724. His father was a planter, prayer, especially in the evening. in the county of Newcastle, on The reason for this punctuality, the Delaware, of great simplici- as stated in his diary, was, that ty of manners, and of reputed che feared lest he should perpiety. His mother, an eminent haps die before morning.” It is Christian, had earnestly besought likewise remarkable, that, in his him of Heaven ; and consider: prayers, he supplicated nothing ing him as given in answer to so ardently, as that he might be prayer, she named him Samuel, introduced into the gospel min: and with great soleminty, devot- istry. ed him to the Lord.
The time was conie, event proved," says Dr. Finley, when that God, to whom he had
that God accepted the conse- been solemnly dedicated, and crated boy, took him under his who designed him as an eminent special care, furnished liini sor, instrument of shewing forth his and employed him in, the ser- praise, would bring him home to vice of his church, prospered his himself. He was awakened to labours with remarkable success, solemn and serious concern re